I’m starting a new series featuring entrepreneurs who use the web to conduct business. These entrepreneurs are unique because they are not typical online entrepreneurs, they’re not bloggers, or online marketers and they’re not social media specialists. What makes them un usual is that they own offline businesses but they use the web to build them.
If you’re interested in being featured in this column send me a note via email at rgogos@thebrandiD.com
In the meantime, I’d like you to meet Rana Ryan, local artist and painter.
What do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I have been painting and doodling for as long I can remember. As a child I would always draw things for my friends, entertain kids bored in class or at home, wherever we were. I would draw them fun things that kept us all busy and laughing.
In recent years, I’ve had a series of little art camps at my home, for children who really want to draw, paint and express their inner artist. The mini-camps were very popular and I still enjoy each and every class because my students go home proud and happy.
About ten years ago, I started giving serious thought to marketing my work. Whenever we had company over, many were drawn to my artwork that we had hung on the walls of our home. I come from an artistic family since my mother is an established artist She too taught art to young children in Beirut, just a block or so from the American University of Beirut, where my father went to college. My mother likes to work with oils, and I have pieces I’ve made in the watercolor and acrylic media. So, between my mother’s work and mine, our home always looks like a gallery.
As a painter, which mediums do you prefer?
I’ve worked with acrylics from the beginning, and have always loved large canvases. I started watercolor painting eight years ago and fell in love with that medium, too.
I love painting with very bright colors and so often run out of yellow paint! I was told by a fellow artist that yellow is for “amateurs.” Well, if that’s the case, I’ll always be an amateur because I love the enthusiasm and life it brings to my work. I guess my clients like yellow, too, because I sold every painting that had a lot of yellow in it!!!
One series, in particular, called: “We are all the same in the eyes of God” used mostly yellow, a little blue, and green and pink. The series really struck a chord with people from all backgrounds, and each person who purchased a painting had a story they could relate my painting to.
How do you use the web for your work?
I have 2 Web sites:
Back in the 80‘s, when I began painting, we barely had access to the Internet. Very few even knew what that was. So, we depended on communicating with letters postcards and phone calls to promote ourselves and our work.
Now, I cannot live without my Apple; it has my Syracuse Orange cover and is my lifeline to my work, my family, my friends.
I photograph my work and within minutes I can post it on the web. Some times, within seconds, I hear comments. It is quite exciting and at the same time quite rewarding since it keeps my mind engaged and focused on my work.
Has the web contributed to your success and how?
Absolutely. I can reach people all over the world with the click of a button.
I get answers, questions, requests all within minutes sometimes. I get orders and can fill them right from my studio.
Also, the web allows me to work on my art anytime while keeping track of my web sites. For example, if an article is written about my work in a magazine, I can post it. Instantly, people all over can read it. I do not need to wait for someone to go buy the magazine nor do they have to wait for it to come in the mail.
I order my supplies, business cards, and design postcards all from my computer, and get it all done within minutes. The time saving is tremendous, which allows me to concentrate and work on my paintings. At the end of the day, I must say I just want to paint !!!!! So, I do cherish the technology that enables me to spend the lion’s share of my effort on my art.
I am also affiliated with the Glimmer of Hope Foundationand sell the greeting cards I designed for the foundation through the web. Helping with breast cancer research is very fulfilling for me. Knowing that my web sites can also help fight for the cure is important to me.
Do you have any tips to offer other artists who want to use the web?
The first thing I will say to any artist is get a great web designer. Let him or her get to know you and know your style sufficiently so they in turn can project your work through the medium that they know best.
As an artist, to be effective, you have to allow your website to capture and present you and your work to its fullest. How else can a prospective client determine whether to make a purchase? Bottom line, your web site is you, so have it done the right.
I chose to have two websites since I work with two media: watercolors and acrylics —ranaryan.com is geared more towards my acrylics and the Faithincolor.com is geared towards my watercolors. My customer has access to both media on both sites.
Where can we see and buy your work?
I love waking up in the morning to find an order waiting for me; time zones do not matter. We live in a different world today!